Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits While Using The Gi Bill

No matter what your situation is, unemployment benefits are an American right. Whether you’ve been out of work for several months or want to draw upon your military service to help make ends meet, unemployment benefits should be automatic and available to everyone struggling financially. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The GI Bill can affect whether you’re able to receive unemployment benefits while using your time in the military. But before we dive into whether you can collect employment benefits, also called unemployment compensation, while using the GI Bill, let’s take a look at what that term means, as well as its implications on your ability to collect benefits without breaking the bank. Let’s know Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits While Using The Gi Bill.

Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits While Using The Gi Bill

What is unemployment compensation?

Unemployment compensation is money paid to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The main purpose of this assistance is to help people who have been out of work for a while (more than 30 days) find new jobs. This assistance is paid through a program called unemployment insurance, which is exactly what it sounds like—insurance. The amount of the benefit is set by law, but it can’t be more than one-fifth of a person’s monthly income. The amount of benefits you receive is determined by a complex formula that takes into account your circumstances. You can’t claim unemployment benefits while you’re on any kind of leave or vacation time. You can, however, claim benefits when you return to work and then drop off the books the next day.

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Can I collect unemployment benefits while using the GI Bill?

Yes, you can collect unemployment benefits while using the GI Bill, but this depends on your state’s prerequisites or eligibility for unemployment benefits. In some states, students aren’t allowed to receive unemployment benefits, and if you’re using the GI bill, you’re most probably a student. Therefore, if your state allows students to collect unemployment benefits, you’ll be eligible to collect unemployment benefits while using the GI Bill.

Even if your state gives unemployment benefits to students, you probably won’t be able to receive unemployment benefits throughout your tenure as a student because there are certain rules for qualifying for unemployment benefits.

Also, if you’re using the post-9/11 GI bill, you won’t be able to receive unemployment benefits because your post-9/11 GI bill benefits not only cover the majority, if not all, of your tuition costs, but you also get some housing stipends, which if spent well, wouldn’t require you to search for additional benefits.

Ultimately, qualifying for the unemployment benefits alone doesn’t suffice as you’ve got to show proof of you applying for jobs weekly anytime you want to collect the benefit. And this only lasts for about 12 to 39 days, depending on your state.

Who is eligible to collect unemployment benefits?

You may be eligible if you: 

  • Have been unemployed for less than 30 days—if you’ve been actively searching for a job but couldn’t find a job for less than six months or close to a year, you could apply for unemployment benefits.
  • You’re disabled-if you have any type of disability that prevents you from doing the job you’re used to or you can’t do anything at all, you’re eligible for the unemployment benefits and may apply.
  • If you’re sick, pregnant, or caring for your child, you may apply for unemployment benefits. 
  • If You’ve been discharged from your work (honorably, maybe because your employer needed fewer workers). You may be granted unemployment benefits (a reduction in pay may also make you eligible), though it depends on your state.
  • Check your state eligibility criteria because eligibility varies by state.

Although the length of time you’ve been unemployed can affect your eligibility, there are other factors like not searching for jobs or deliberately quitting your job that may sometimes lead to your claim or application to claim unemployment benefits being declined.

If you’ve checked with your state whether they offer unemployment benefits for students using the GI Bill or not, and you’re sure you’ve qualified for the unemployment benefits, here’s how to go about your application.

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits with the GI Bill

Step 1 

To file a claim for unemployment benefits with the GI Bill, you’ll need to apply directly with your state unemployment agency. Your local unemployment office is located in the same building as your state jobs agency. And if you don’t know any unemployment offices around your area, visit to find your nearest office.

Step 2: 

If you have child support or alimony payments or other financial obligations, you’ll need to deal with these issues first. If you can’t get in touch with your financiers and are at a loss, you can file an unemployment benefits claim with the GI Bill directly. Note that any financial obligations you might have must be settled at the time of your application.

Where to Apply for Your Benefits with the GI Bill?

There are several ways to apply for your benefits with the GI Bill. You can apply online at our official website, or you can go to a local office and apply in person. Online applications are processed quickly, but in-person applications are done on-site at your state unemployment agency. The choice is yours. There’s no difference between applying online or in person. Both processes yield the same result: You’ll be contacted if you qualify for benefits.


Your best bet, if you’re unsure where to file for your unemployment benefits, is to apply online. Be aware, though, that filing online can be a little tricky. You’ll need to provide basic information, including your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and the nature of your unemployment claim. The application process is the same for everyone getting unemployment benefits, so it’s important to get it right the first time. If you have questions, either speak with your local office or contact your state unemployment office directly.

Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits While Using The Gi Bill

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